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Flyers Officially Announce Matvei Michkov Entry-Level Contract

(AP Photo/George Walker IV)

Michkov-Mania has swept Philadelphia and with news breaking a few weeks ago that the young phenom was terminating his contract with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL to join the Philadelphia Flyers, General Manager Daniel Brière has announced that they have officially signed Matvei Michkov to an entry-level contract today.

“We’re excited to have Matvei under contract and we look forward to him joining our team at training camp in September,” said Brière. “We’ve kept a close eye on his development since the draft and to be able to add a player like Matvei, who brings a high-level of talent, skill and game-breaking abilities, he will be a key piece to our future.”

“I’m extremely happy to officially become a part of the Flyers family,” said Michkov. “Being in the NHL has been a dream for me since childhood. I would like to say a huge thank you to the Flyers management for their trust. I will do everything possible to meet their expectations. I can’t wait to join my teammates and start preparing for the new season together, and I would especially like to greet our fans. We have the same dream to win the Stanley Cup and I promise that will do my best to help this team and make that possible.”

It was widely believed that Michkov wouldn’t arrive to North America until 2026, which was when his KHL contract was going to run out. However after just one season, talks heated up earlier in the summer that there was a chance Michkov could arrive sooner but he would need to broker a buyout with his KHL club – in other words, the Flyers couldn’t sweeten the pot to expedite the move. SKA St. Petersburg were tight-lipped about the whole situation but it was believed that if Michkov wasn’t going to come to the NHL in 2024, he would assuredly be on his way in 2025, a year sooner than his original timeline.

It was truly shocking news when Anthony Di Marco of The Fourth Period tweeted out late Sunday morning that Michkov was leaving his KHL club. Just one year into their rebuild and “New Era of Orange” mantra, the Flyers will be welcoming their most anticipated prospect since perhaps Eric Lindros, and it could very easily change the course of their offseason this summer as they look to build around Michkov for the foreseeable future.

The 19-year-old Michkov was drafted with the 7th overall pick of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. After months of questions, Michkov entered the draft as an enigma. Where would he be drafted? When would he be arriving to North America? Would he even be coming over to the NHL in the first place? From a purely skill-level standpoint, Michkov was neck and neck with Connor Bedard but his draft stock took a hit, which ultimately helped the Flyers.

Bedard went first overall to Chicago, Leo Carlsson went second to Anaheim, Adam Fantilli followed him at number three with Columbus, Will Smith went fourth to San Jose, Montreal took David Reinbacher at fifth, and the Arizona Coyotes took Dmitri Simashev at 6. The Flyers walked up to the podium and selected the game-breaking talent that they had their eyes on the whole way through.

During his draft season, Michkov totalled 9 goals and 20 points in just 27 games while on loan with HK Sochi of the KHL. He had recorded 10 goals and 14 points in 12 games for SKA-Neva St. Petersburg of the VHL and went pointless in 3 games for SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL before being loaned out.

Heading into 2023-24, Michkov appeared in just one game for SKA St. Petersburg before they loaned him back to Sochi where he tallied 19 goals and 41 points in just 47 games. He was made a healthy scratch by SKA a couple times and the decision was ultimately made a few games into the season. The KHL isn’t the best league for talent development as they really focus on veterans.

SKA St. Petersburg finished 40-6-3-19 (W-OTW-OTL-L) which was good for 2nd in the Western Conference. They defeated Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in the first round in 5 games before falling to Avtomobilist Yaketerinburg in the second round in 5 games. Michkov was expected to play a larger role in 2024-25 but now he will look to have a much grander impact at the NHL level with the Flyers during his rookie season.

Now officially in the books for the 2024-25 season, expect Michkov-Mania to sweep the city – and possibly the NHL as a whole – as he is expected to make his much anticipated rookie season debut.

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